DSC01527It’s Mardi Gras! A few years ago, Charlie and I went to New Orleans on Fat Tuesday and had a BLAST with our very gracious local hosts. I won’t reallllly be celebrating the occasion this year, but to embrace the spirit of excess, I’m gonna go ahead and eat all of the Girl Scout cookies my mom got us for Valentine’s Day. (Did you guys know that there’s a gluten free Girl Scout cookie now? Whaaaaat?)

In any case, I sort of love the idea that there’s a day (a week if you’re in a part of the world that does carnivale of some sort) devoted to getting all the crazy out of your system before you spend some time reigning it in and reflecting (if you’re into the Lent thing).

What I truly love about Fat Tuesday is that spring will soon follow. February is always a slog up here in the northeast, so it’s a huge relief to know that really, it can’t be that much longer until we get tulips, green leaves and picnic weather. I’ll drink to that!

IMG_1743Spring also means I can start riding my bike outside – which needs to happen soon, because I am not getting enough miles in on a single computrainer ride per week. While I had a GREAT ride this Sunday, I do need to ride more if I want to feel confident in my races.  I’ve been doing a lot of pricing and research on my options while the weather’s less than ideal, and I think I’ve come up with a solution – but I won’t know for sure until I’ve tested it out this week. I’ll report back next week!

Another thing I’m looking forward to with the warm weather is open water swimming! (Yes, I know I’ve got a few months before the NYC weather makes this viable, but a girl can dream, right?) The fastest woman in my Thursday AM swim practice (who I WORKED to keep up with last week – it was awesome), told me about CIBBOWS (Coney Island and Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers). Turns out, they do group open water swims in the ocean (at my favorite beach) every Saturday and Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As a recent convert to the group workout as a training tool, I am psyched!

I love swimming in the ocean, but I’ve never strayed beyond the jetties (except in a race), because I’ve never had a swim buddy (and swimming in the open water isn’t something to do alone). I’m hoping more of my training swims will look like this, this summer:


What are you looking forward to when the ice melts and we thaw out of this frigid tundra?

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans


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